She’s witty, extraordinarily talented and now she’s also an amazing new mom. Mandy has done it all these past few years, from running an award-winning design firm to mastering the ins and outs of colic. The girl is unstoppable…
What is the most rewarding part of being a mom?
Smiles. There is nothing quite like the joy that erupts on his face at the sight of seeing his parents. It certainly helped get us through his excessive colic.
What is the hardest part of being a mom?
Knowing you are the major contributor in shaping the ideals, views and future of someone you helped physically create is both inspiring and incredibly daunting. I cannot think of a larger responsibility than ensuring the safety and development of a child. It’s also difficult knowing one day that all that work you’ve done to help them take flight will have to yield to having to learn to let go.
What values did your parents instill in you that you would most like to pass on?
In adulthood, I’ve always held to three core ideals that my parents preached – integrity, compassion and diligence – a strong work ethic. My hope is that my son can understand that by employing these values in life, the rest follows suit.
When did you first consider yourself grown up?
The moment the doctors put him on my chest and he wasn’t breathing. It was a sobering moment where I realized that life is precious and delicate and that my selfish desires were nothing compared to how much I wanted to help him in that moment.
How do you stay true to yourself as a woman?
Writing for Mama Moderne is filling a need I had forgotten I had – and allowing me to.
How do you juggle work and motherhood?
Ha, the word “juggling” is relative – I would term it more as “throwing all the balls in the air and hoping they don’t crash all at the same time.” For now, copious amounts of caffeine-free Coca Cola, the ability to function on limited sleep, and an incredibly helpful husband. I suppose the ability to work from home with understanding clients is a win in my corner as well.
How do you destress and relax?
That would insinuate I have learned to relax. In lieu of that ability, I stave off craziness by reading, writing, designing, exercising, being a die-hard college football fan and laughing as often as possible. Hugs from my two favorite men go a long way too.
What is your favorite book to read to your child?
A Children’s Book of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson
How did you come up with your children’s names?
It was mandated by his father, after whom he is named. Being the sixth in a long line of Josephs, it was inevitable that the tradition would be carried on in him. Considering that family is #1 to us, I thought it only appropriate.
As a mom, what is one thing you couldn’t possibly live without?
I would love to wax all poetic and say “love” or something, but the truth is the internet. It helped carry me through the dark early days when I thought I might be going crazy and put me in touch with helpful advice. Facebook, forums, book sites – they all helped to reminded me that I was not the first, nor would I be the last to be treading water.
What was the transition to parenthood like for you and your husband?
Hilariously chaotic and traumatic, despite some serious preparation. We must have resembled some demented headless chickens.
What is most important for your family to do together?
Simply being a family in every sense of the word.
If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
Knowing the lyrics to almost every song I’ve ever heard – making me a fabulous resource for nighttime lullabies, even if they are riffs on everything from NSYNC to Sam Cooke and Jason Mraz.
What advice do you have for new parents?
There is no advice that can prepare or save you – just leaning on each other and focusing on the needs of your child are important. The rest are just details.